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Synopsis by Arturo Magidin (magidin@matem.unam.mx)

Garibaldi enters the Zocalo, which lies in ruins, fires and dead bodies everywhere. Garibaldi himself looks bloody and beaten. Among the dead is Sheridan, shot through the head. Next to him, a sign in blood reads, "You failed me." Zack Allan is also dead, next to another message in blood: "Where were you?"

Franklin is still alive, barely. "We needed you..." he gasps, before being shot. Laughter echoes through the Zocalo. Another Garibaldi, carrying a big gun, steps out from among the debris and claims responsibility. The beaten Garibaldi backs away, and something creeps out of a bar and starts engulfing him...

...and Garibaldi wakes with a start. It was a dream. Sitting on his bed is Lyta, her eyes glowing. She explains she has decided to stop hiding what the Vorlons did to her, and she is testing her limits. But Garibaldi shouldn't have woken up. "This is just a dream," she tells him, and Garibaldi wakes up again. There is no one in the room.

Then the door opens, and Lise Hampton comes in. She's come to see Garibaldi, since he had promised he would stay on Babylon 5 only for a short while (a promise he has not kept), and she misses him.

Delenn is picking up some papers from Sheridan's office when a call from Lennier comes in. Since Sheridan isn't around, she takes it there. Lennier reports three more attacks on Alliance ships, and no witnesses or evidence. However, twenty minutes before each attack, they intercepted coded Centauri signals. Given enough time, he will be able to decode them.

Lennier also asks if Sheridan knows about his mission. Delenn says he does not, but just then Sheridan starts to walk in; he stops outside, and overhears the final exchanges between Lennier and Delenn. Sheridan now knows where Lennier is and what he is doing.

Elsewhere, Lyta is trying to make a deal with a human businessman. Lyta wants a deep-range explorer ship, capable of holding two hundred telepaths. They will explore unknown planets for the man's company, using telepathy to help in cases of first contact and to make things far more efficient. In exchange, if they find a suitable, uninhabited planet, they get to form a colony.

The businessman is not interested, though. Working with rogue telepaths would invalidate their insurance, and violate their contract with the Psi Corps. They cannot afford either one. In his opinion, neither can any other company. The resources needed would be too great. Lyta thinks about it briefly after he leaves, and gets an idea: she schedules an appointment with G'Kar for later that day.

Vir is going over the day's business with Londo. The Royal Court wants the schedule of transports from Alliance worlds to Centauri Prime. A most unusual request, according to Londo, since the Royal Court has never before shown interest in this sort of thing. To Londo's surprise, this is in fact the only business for the day. An appointment with the Drazi Minister of Finance, and a photo opportunity with the Gaim Ambassador have both been cancelled. Vir thinks it has to do with the boycott of Alliance business ("The Ragged Edge"), but Londo points out that these sorts of contacts must be maintained, regardless of the situation with the Alliance. Londo is perplexed.

Lise starts to make some coffee, and discovers a bottle under the sink. She angrily confronts Garibaldi. She's seen what alcohol has done to Garibaldi before, ruining his life at least twice. Garibaldi admits to some drinking, but claims he has it under control. She demands Garibaldi not drink while she's there, if he really has it under control. It won't make her happy, but it is a start. Garibaldi agrees, and pours the contents of the bottle down the drain.

In hyperspace, aboard the Maria, Lennier is working on decoding the Centauri transmissions, when Montoya comes in to ask him about his progress. Lennier says all he has been able to decode are three words: "do not reply." He believes they are being sent to a staging base. If so, the base must have a tachyon stream to help transmissions, and if they can locate it at the moment of another transmission, they can follow it to the base. Montoya then receives a message from Babylon 5: Lennier's theory will stay a theory. The Maria has been recalled immediately, by order of Sheridan himself.

On Babylon 5, Delenn is asking Sheridan why the recall. He explains he found out about the covert mission, and since it was being done without his knowledge, he has cancelled it. It was inappropriate, Sheridan claims, to assign Lennier there without telling him. Delenn agrees, but also says it was inappropriate for Sheridan not to assign Lennier there in the first place. Although he was the best qualified for such a mission, Sheridan was trying to protect Delenn by keeping Lennier safe.

Sheridan finally admits that his was the case, just when he gets a message from the Maria: Lennier has taken a one man fighter and left the ship. They cannot find him.

Lennier is in hyperspace, following the tachyon beam as he had planned. The possible location for the base, though, is too far for his air supply to last. So he enters a meditation trance to conserve as much of his oxygen as he can ("Meditations on the Abyss").

Lyta arrives for her appointment with G'Kar. She recalls the offer G'Kar made when she came on board ("The Gathering"), when he offered to buy access to her DNA. She wants to take him up on it now. G'Kar acknowledges the Narn would like to reacquire telepaths, and her DNA would be a great help. Lyta offers him access to the DNA sequence of as many telepaths as they want, in exchange for certain considerations: a lot of money, deposited to an account on Mars; at least five deep-range starships, capable of holding a hundred telepaths each; and absolute secrecy. G'Kar expresses concerns that the last point may violate their obligations as members of the Alliance, but Lyta points out this is an internal matter for the Narn Government, and thus not subject to Alliance jurisdiction. She leaves to let him think about it.

Garibaldi and Lise arrive at the Fresh Air Cafe for dinner. Lise says she really is looking forward to Garibaldi's return to Mars: she needs him to help her deal with Edgars Industries. There is much she doesn't understand about the business, and much that frightens her. She asks what Sheridan's reaction was when Garibaldi told him he was leaving, but his evasions show he hasn't told Sheridan yet. The Maitre D' arrives and asks if they want anything to drink. Garibaldi orders coffee. When it arrives, Garibaldi claims it is the worst coffee he has ever had, stands up, cup in hand, and heads to the kitchen to complain. But once out of sight, he takes out a small vial from his jacket and pours some alcohol into the coffee before heading in again.

Sheridan and Delenn receive a report on the search for Lennier. Although three more White Stars have joined the search, they have found no trace of him. Sheridan orders them to continue. Montoya points out that the air in the fighter will be running out any time now, even if Lennier went into meditation to lower his consumption of oxygen.

Indeed, the air in Lennier's fighter is almost gone. Fortunately, a Centauri ship overtakes him, following the tachyon relay. Lennier engages full stealth, and attaches the fighter to the warship, drawing air from it. Then, the warship jumps into normal space, and Lennier's perseverance is rewarded: they have arrived at the Centauri staging base.

In bed, Sheridan is apologizing to Delenn for his earlier behavior, and acknowledges she was right to send Lennier on that mission. He is also trying to convince her it was not her fault that he is missing, probably dead. But Delenn will not accept Lennier's death until she has seen a body.

In the morning, Londo receives an urgent message from Centauri Prime. A Minister says that they have information that Sheridan and the others want to blame the Centauri for the attacks, and are even ready to fabricate evidence if that is what is needed. Londo claims Sheridan would not do that. But the Minister points out that the Narn have access to many ships and weapons that were left behind when the Centauri left Narn; and even though G'Kar would not fabricate evidence, other Narn consider him too close to the Centauri and might go ahead without his knowledge. "You must do everything you can to stop them from blaming our people for these attacks," the Minister tells Londo. "If they attempt to move against us, we will fight back." It could cause a war.

Lyta arrives at G'Kar's quarters to hear his answer. G'Kar has contacted his government, and they agree to Lyta's terms. They do have one more stipulation, however: they want Lyta and her fellow telepaths to "listen in" to the other ambassadors from time to time, and report to Narn. Lyta thinks about it briefly, but declines. Although she has discovered she can do many things she couldn't do before, she cannot do this. She still has a shred of decency left. The deal is off. She turns to leave.

G'Kar stops her before she exits. There is no such condition: he wanted to see how far she was willing to go. Had she agreed, G'Kar would have known that he couldn't trust her, and there would be no deal. Now, they can go ahead. She'll have her money, the ships, and support from the Narn.

Lennier's fighter is still attached to the Centauri ship, which is again in hyperspace, part of an attack group. Lennier starts recording when they jump back into normal space. There, they attack a convoy without warning, destroying it completely despite offers to surrender. When the Centauri depart, Lennier stays behind, floating among the debris. Once they leave, he sends out a distress call, and prays for the dead.

On Babylon 5, Sheridan receives the good news. The Maria has rescued Lennier and is heading back to Babylon 5. And he has the proof they need. Sheridan tells Delenn, and she is overcome with emotion. She leaves, and in the corridor outside she leans against a wall, crying and laughing. Londo happens to walk by, and asks if she is all right. She turns, and silently goes over and embraces him.

"What? What is this for?" Londo asks, confused. "I have never done that, in all the time you and I have been here," Delenn replies. "And I think, very soon, we will never have another chance." She walks away slowly, leaving Londo just as confused as before.

Later, Delenn and Sheridan welcome Lennier back. Lennier gives Sheridan the recordings he made, and goes off to rest. "We have worked months to get this information," Sheridan says, "and now that I have it, a part of me wants to throw it through an airlock. I was hoping we were wrong, Delenn." "So was I," replies Delenn. But now they know the truth, and they have an obligation to follow through. They will have a closed meeting tomorrow to review the evidence. Garibaldi comes in then, since Sheridan was looking for him. Sheridan says wants to meet with Garibaldi, Franklin, and G'Kar as soon as possible.

Franklin is with Londo, discussing the plans for a biological data base for the Alliance ("Strange Relations"), when Vir interrupts. He tells Londo that a meeting is in the works for tomorrow, a sure indication they have evidence to present regarding the attacks. However, everyone is invited except Londo. "I don't like this," says Londo. "I don't like this at all. This is going to be bad."

Lise is preparing dinner, and Garibaldi comes in. He wants her out and back to Mars as soon as possible. Because, barring a miracle, they will soon be at war with the Centauri.

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Last update: December 9, 1998